The Suspended Row

By: Nick Lape BS, FMS

Suspended RowWatch as Nick shows you how to get the most out of the suspended row. The shoulder is a very important part of this movement that is often left out. You can actually see the difference in Suzanne shoulder as she uses it in the movement. The next time you do a suspended row be sure to pay attention to your shoulder blade movement.

Outcome and Behavior Goals

Outcome and Behavior Goals

We started a goal board at Forward Fitness. We want to make sure we are helping you get to where you want to be one step at a time.  And, what better way to do this than with a goal board. After all, a goal is just a wish until a plan is made. Aside form identifying your “Why,” your driving force (that’s another blog post) creating a good goal is key to success.

There are two types of goals I would like to talk about today: an outcome goal and a behavior goal. An outcome goal is result oriented and often times we do not have complete control of the result. For example, “Lose 5 pounds in one month,” would be an outcome goal.  This tells you your intended result. It can be a great long-term measure of effectiveness. However, if you only focus on your outcome goal, but do not think about the habits you need to create, success will be hard.

This is where behavior goals come in. Behavior goals are the steps you have to take in order to accomplish the outcome goal. It is something you have control over. For example, “Eat breakfast every day,” “Work out three times each week,” and “Get seven to nine hours of sleep every night,” are all behavior goals. This is where you need to keep your focus. It is a lot better to judge your success on whether or not you are achieving your behavior goals. After all, you choose whether or not you wake up early enough to eat breakfast or go to the gym. You choose if you finish binge watching the last season of Walking Dead or go to bed. These behaviors goals are the lifestyle changes that become habits and create the life you are striving to achieve.

Imagine you were succeeding in all of your behavior goals. You would feel pretty great. You could move better, your pants were fitting nicely, and you had more energy. But, what if your outcomes goal was to lose seven pounds in a month and you only lost five? You have been really successful in the past month making wonderful changes, but if all you chose to focus on was that you only lost five pounds and not seven, how successful would your following month be?  If all you do is weigh yourself and you do not see the exact progress you expected, chances are you will become discouraged.  Focus on the changes you have control over, celebrate your successes, and learn from your failures.

What’s your goal this month?

Cauliflower Tortilla

If you are looking for a new tortilla recipe you have come to the right place. It includes only natural ingredients. It is a plus too, if you cannot eat gluten as it is gluten free. I was fortunate to have found this recipe on


  • 2 packed cups of riced cauliflower (~ ¾ cauliflower head)
  • 2 eggs
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Parchment paper



Pre-heat the oven to 375°F.

Rice the cauliflower by chopping off the stems and using a food processor to finely chop the cauliflower. It should be slightly smaller than rice.Cauliflower Tortilla

Place in a microwave safe dish, microwave for 2 minutes, and then stir.

Microwave for another 2 minutes and stir some more.

Place the cauliflower in the center of a clean dish towel and squeeze out all the water. CAUTION!!! The water will be hot. Use gloves if necessary. I used the same gloves that are use at Thanksgiving when cutting the turkey.Ringing out cauliflower

Once all the water is out, return the cauliflower to the microwavable safe bowl. Add the 2 eggs and salt and pepper to taste.

Once the eggs are stirred in, the “batter” should be slightly liquid.Cauliflower Tortillas

Place the parchment paper on a cooking sheet and divide the batter into 6 blobs on top of the parchment paper.

Smooth the batter into flat round tortillas.Cauliflower Tortilla

Bake for 10 minutes and carefully flip the tortillas. Bake for another 5-7 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow the tortillas to cool on a cooling rack.Cauliflower Tortillas

Once slightly cooled, heat olive oil in a skillet. Cook the tortillas on each side to add a slight crispness and nutty flavor.Cauliflower Tortilla


As you can see these tortillas can hold a filling without cracking and falling apart.  Cauliflower Tortilla

5 Steps to Perfectly Cut Peppers

Learn how to cut a pepper without wasting bites and pieces. It is easy, efficient, and very practical. Remember your knife safety skills as you are cutting. A dull knife is more dangerous than a sharp one.  Be sure the hand that is on the pepper should look like a claw, with your fingers perpendicular to the pepper.

Step 1– Cut around the upper perimeter of the pepper.

Pepper sliced around the top.


Step 2-  Use your hand to remove upper the top part of the pepper. Pull out center stem and seeds.

Pepper with seeds removed.


Step 3- Cut off the bottom portion of the pepper and cut through one side of the middle section of the pepper.

Pepper ready to cut.


Step 4- Gently press the pepper into the cutting board and slice into strips.

Pepper slices.


Step 5- Enojy with some hummus, guacamole, or as part of a stri fry, or salad.

Pepper Stir Fry


Smile! It Can Make You Happy!

Change your moodChange your body’s position and change your mood. Think about the last time you were mad, upset, or stressed. Were your teeth clenched or relaxed? How were your lips? Where were your arms? Were your shoulders shrugged? How was your posture? Were you looking up, down, or straight ahead? How was your breathing? Was it shallow and fast, or slow and from your diaphragm? Recreate your answers with your body. Now without changing anything, be happy. Could you do it? I don’t think so.

Shake it out and this time smile and sit or stand up tall. Keeping the smile on your face, get angry. Come on, get angry. You can’t. Isn’t that amazing?! Think about this the next time you are stressed, upset, or angry. You are actively putting your body in a position. If you keep your body in that position, changing your mood will be nearly impossible. When I am angry my teeth are clenched, my arms are tightly crossed, I have a frown on my face, I am slouched over with shrugged shoulders, I am looking down, and I have a wrinkle between my eyebrows from slightly squinting. My first step to changing my mood is to unclench my teeth and then uncross my arms. I then sit or stand up tall and change my breathing. My mood begins to improve. It might sound like it is backwards, but changing your body position can allow you to change your mood. I challenge you the next time you get stressed, angry, or upset to notice your body position and then change it!

Don’t Trust Your Scale

By: Suzanne Doerries RD, LD, CPT

The alarm goes off. You begrudgingly get out of bed, go to the bathroom, disrobe, and then stand staring at it. What will it say today? Will your efforts be rewarded or will the indulgence of last night show? One pound up or down from yesterday. What will it be? This number will set the tone of your day. Why do we give this piece of equipment so much power, especially when it really doesn’t tell us the whole story?

Measurements over the scale

She definitely lost inches and body fat percentage, but does the scale show the extent of her results?

We have all seen the pictures of five pounds of fat verses five pounds of muscle. The fat is lumpy and quite a bit larger than the muscle. Too many times people begin metabolic resistance training wanting to lose weight.  After a month they become frustrated because the scale is not budging. However, their clothes are fitting better and they feel better. According to the scale this person did not achieve anything, but if they took measurements or better yet had their body fat percentage taken before and after, they would have seen what was actually happening. (Body fat percentage tells you how much of your weight is fat and how much is lean mass.) In this case, fat was being lost and muscle built. It’s unfortunate, but a majority of the time people choose to focus on the scale and become discouraged when in reality they are actually making progress.

When I first had my body fat percentage tested I had not worked out in a while and was at my lightest weight. A few months later I had my body fat tested again. This time I had been doing metabolic resistance training two to three times a week. I actually weighed more, but my body fat percentage was less. This means I had gained muscle and lost fat. If I had chosen to just look at the scale, I would have thought I was going in the wrong direction.

There are many methods of measuring body fat percentage. You may have seen the hand held machines, which use bioelectrical impedance. They are very accessible. However, hydration levels play a role in the results making accuracy and precision a question. Hydrostatic (under water) weighing is a little less accessible to the public, but more accurate. This method takes weight on dry land and then under water to compute body fat percentage. It does require you to be able to blow out as much as possible under water. Hydration status does not affect these results. If you have access to hydrostatic weighing this is definitely the method to choose.

I urge all of you who use the scale to measure your success to think about alternate methods. Body fat percentage is great, but if you can’t do that measurements, the way your clothes fit, and how you feel are good things to track. You can even measure success by reaching your weekly goals of working out x times per week, cooking healthy meals x times per week, paying attention to your hinger signals… Whatever you do, don’t let the scale be the only method you use to measure your success.

Why Lift Heavy?

Lift heavy weightsBy: Nick Lape ACSM, FMS

Now, anyone who knows me knows that I love to lift heavy weights. I have fought gravity and won many times. I have also fought gravity and lost just as many times, well okay, probably more like twice as often as I have succeeded. If I didn’t fail those times, I feel as though I would get bored with lifting weights. Failure allows me to compete with myself. In my mind and even in the minds of some of my clients, it creates this excitement of, “How far can I push my body?” While heavy lifting should be done in moderation, there are some great benefits to testing your body and making it stronger.

First, there tends to be this thought process that lifting heavy weights is dangerous. While that is very true if done improperly, focusing on this only increases the fear of doing it. Every time I lift heavy weights, I view it as practice. Put your body under that much stress and you begin to teach your body things. You learn. You move. You continue to teach yourself how to stabilize certain areas and mobilize others, as well as what force is needed to lift a certain weight. You truly turn your body into a one piece machine by connecting your brain with every part of your body. If it doesn’t work as one, you put yourself at risk of injuring yourself or failing at a lift attempt. The biggest thing to take away is the fact that you are teaching your body how to take on an obstacle that requires the entirety of your body and mind to overcome.

Second, I want to reiterate how competitive lifting heavy weights can be both inter- and intra-personally. Being able to compete with your self can push you to the point that failure is no longer an option. It’s always fun to watch the numbers on your lift card or program card go up. When it happens you begin to wonder what it might take in order to get to whatever goal you have. Now take everything from above and add a crowd, or a weight lifting buddy, or simply someone you are quietly competing with from across the gym. For some it starts a fire, a fire that can’t be extinguished easily by simply lifting alone.

Lastly, and probably most obvious is sheer strength. If you aren’t challenging the body then there is a good chance you aren’t getting stronger. When you aren’t getting stronger, you aren’t building lean muscle fibers, when you aren’t building muscle fibers you aren’t maximizing your metabolism to burn fat. Lifting heavy things can be the ultimate test of your strength. However, LADIES, I will put it to rest, yes some of you are made to gain more muscle mass than others. HOWEVER, it is scientifically impossible, without the help of anabolic boosters and a ridiculous diet, for you to get bulky. So, cast that worry aside right now. GENTLEMEN, if you want those big, attractive legs, arms, back, etc., and you are NOT lifting heavy weights, you may be wasting your time in the gym. Does it have to be every day? Nope, and it shouldn’t. But, if it isn’t at least one or maybe two days a week, bodily changes aren’t going to happen in the way that you want them to.

For years I’ve lifted heavy weights. I have learned so much from myself and others. And, that is exactly how you start heavy weightlifting. You learn. You teach. And you learn and teach some more. If you aren’t challenging your body, how can you possibly make it better? The answer, you can’t! Lifting heavy weights can be fun, competitive, and beneficial to your overall health. If someone says, “But it’s dangerous,” reply with, “So is being weak.” Our bodies don’t last forever. While we still have the ability, challenging it to do more (again in moderation and proper form) is the only way that we find our limits and surpass them. It is the only way we can learn to set lifting goals in the gym. It is the only way to guarantee that we have a strong healthy body for years to come. That is why we lift heavy things.

Getting Back to the Gym

By: Nick Lape

Back to the GymWe are starting to notice that the days are once again getting shorter. The chaos of barbeques, vacations, and float trips is winding down. School is about it start. Summer is drawing to a close making August the perfect time to get back into a healthy routine.

It is very easy to lose track of your health in the summer. I mean why not, you had a beach vacation, acted as chauffer for your kids to and from the pool and countless little league games, and appeared at your families’ and friends’ barbeques. Skipping out on the gym, over eating, and/or overindulging in sweets and alcohol could have easily been pushed to the side. But, your health can’t stop just because of summer. The cycle has to continue or start again. Before you know it fall and winter will be here along with holidays and treats and soon after spring a summer again. Will you be prepared? Start now. You don’t have to go all in right away. Just start doing something. Make sure that you can set time aside to plan your week.

Planning seems to be a word that, when it comes to fitness, gets lost in the noise. People want things now. Well the most successful people get their ‘now’ by planning for it. What are you going to do to plan for it? One of the best quotes I’ve heard was from a colleague of mine. He said, “Next year’s beach body is built this winter.” Building takes time. Get that plan set.

Sometimes getting back in the gym after a good long summer can be tough. You feel sluggish from all the sleeping in and greasy food you may have eaten. One of the best places to start is to try and reset that internal clock. Start going to bed at a decent time for the prime seven to nine hours of sleep and things can start to fall back into place. Once you have that set then start to attack the nutrition side of things and get back in the gym. It can be hard to hit the ground running sometimes, so remember the small changes make a difference.

With the summer ending it’s time to get back into the gym. Make a plan and set goals. Start your summer 2016 training now. Get back to the choosing healthy foods and start getting regular sleep. All of this can help jump start you back into health for the upcoming fall and winter and eventually spring and summer months. Back to School? Back to the gym!!